Sites & cities that bear the name of Vratsa


Today in : Bulgaria
First trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Враца, Valve, Wraza

Description : Vratsa (Bulgarian: Враца ) is the largest city in northwestern Bulgaria. Administrative and economic center of the municipality of Vratsa and Vratsa district. It is located about 112 km north of Sofia, 40 km southeast of Montana. Situated at the foot of the Vrachanski Balkan, the town is the starting point for numerous caves, waterfalls and interesting rock formations. The most famous of them are the Ledenika Cave, Skaklya Waterfall and the Vratsata Pass. In Vratsa History Museum is stored the Rogozen treasure, which is the largest Thracian treasure. Vratsa is an ancient city found by ancient Thracians. Vratsa was called Valve ("door of a fortress") by the Romans due to a narrow passage where the main gate of the city fortress was located. Nowadays, this passage is the symbol of Vratsa, and is shown on the town's Coat of arms. After the fall of Rome, Vratsa became part of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). At the end of the 6th century AD, Vratsa was populated by the South Slavic tribes. Even if they came from Pannonia and Dacia on the north, the town remained under Byzantine rule. In the 7th century, the Bulgars and the Slavs found the First Bulgarian Empire and the Slavic Vratsa became part of it. The city grew into important strategic location because of its proximity to the South State border. Vratsa became famous for its goldsmiths and silversmiths production and trade, high-quality earthenware and military significance. In the 8th century, the Bulgarian army captured Sofia, which led to the decreasing of Vratsa's importance because of the better strategic position of Sofia, its more developed economy and larger size. But Vratsa was again key for the resistance against the Byzantine, Serbian and Magyar invasions in the Middle Ages.

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